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Struggling Recruit? Discover Crush Everything

Stew smith BUDs prep goal setting pst seasonal periodization spec ops pipeline

Are Your Struggles Really Road Blocks or
Internal Problems? 

We all have faced unforeseen challenges when on a journey to achieve a goal. You being able to quickly adapt and handle that situation will be a life skill that you rely on the most in your future no matter what you do in life. The question is however, are these challenges you are facing caused by your failure to do research, failure to have contingency plans, and/or lack of preparation? If so, then these "roadblocks" are not an institutional process to see that you fail, it is an internal problem of over-confidence (or under-confidence), immaturity, and lack of understanding goal achievement. Let's break this down:

Clear Standards - There are clear standards for anyone seeking a career in the tactical professions, whether it is regular military, police, fire fighter/EMS, and even special ops programs. The one thing you have to realize from the start is the standards are often the minimum standards. A few programs have recommended or maximum scores to achieve (like Special Ops / USMC, SWAT, etc) in order to be a competitive candidate. The number one rule you have to set for yourself and know is "exceeding the standards IS the standard." 

Understanding the standards is just ONE PART of researching a potential profession / career. Before you set ANY goals for yourself, do more research. Here is a one-stop guide for Research on the Process to Join the Military  - This will keep you busy as there is a lot to learn about a future profession in the military. How do you get there? Pre-testing, What happens after basic training / boot camp? Where will I live? Take your time during the physical preparation process and continue to learn answers to the type of questions your family member or loved ones will ask you. If you cannot answer them, then you have not done enough research. 

Goal Setting Process For Spec Ops Prep

Assess Yourself - Do you know how you score next to those challenges?  You should LONG before you talk to a recruiter. Believe it or not, most people's first understanding of their status against the standard is the actual / official fitness test done when in the military. Thinking you can swim 500yds then do two minutes of pushups / situps, then pullups and run 1.5 miles at a competitive standard is a lot different than actually doing it.  And this is just the test to get INTO the training, and not an indictor you are actually prepared to get THROUGH the training. Learn about Phase 1 of Tactical Fitness and Phase 2 of Tactical Fitness if you want to get TO and THROUGH training

Step 1: So the question is - how do YOU stack up NOW? Take a self-PST and know your scores today. 

Self Assessment Part Two - Assess yourself on more than just the PT Test.  Check out the Self-Assessment Tool to get TO and THROUGH Selection and see how you stack up against people who have gone before you and succeeded. The scores you see in this assessment are not from "freaks of nature" but average scores from above average candidates. Face it - if you want to be part of the 20% who actually finish what they start in a special ops training pipeline, you have to be above average. Statistics and basic math tells  you that. 

Step 2: After you have done the above two recommendations, now you know your strengths and your weaknesses. Guess which you need to focus more into your training?  Turn those weaknesses into strengths or at least less of a weakness. 

Get to Work Becoming a Tactical Athlete - Depending on your athletic history and work history (manual labor), you could be pretty well suited already for handling a day of spec ops training and have the ability to handle many, many follow on days. Get on a program that forces you to "put in the time" as I promise there is no 30 minute gym workout that will prepare you for a day of spec ops training. Sure you need to do lift cycles to prepare for the load bearing of boats, logs, and people, but you also need to focus on muscle stamina / work capacity, cardio endurance (run, swim, ruck), as well as recovery, flexibility, and mobility.  That is what becoming a "tactical athlete" means - you need to get GOOD at everything.  Any focus on a current strength will likely be a detriment to an equal and opposite weakness.  Just ask the strength athlete who lifted more than he ran, or the runner and swimmer who swam / ran more than he lifted and did calisthenics.  They will tell that their weaknesses were exposed quickly even though they crushed ONE thing at selection but got crushed by all the rest. 

Step 3 - Get on a plan and set your path accordingly. A system of 20 + years of proven results to making tactical athletes - Learn about Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization. 

Continue hard work and building mental toughness by working out even when you at first do not feel like it. Get yourself comfortable being uncomfortable over time.  Each day you wake up early to go train when awakened by an early alarm while comfy in bed is a day you build a little bit more discipline and mental toughness. See more on mental toughness and the processes that help you build it ONE DAY AT A TIME. You do not just become mentally tough it takes time, consistency, and practice pushing your perceived limits. 

Step 4 - Get to Work and Continue to Assess Your Progress - You will not see progress if you do not train consistently. Training consistently builds habits, habits build discipline, and discipline builds mental toughness.  Notice there was no motivation as part of that journey.  The reason is that every one is motivated AT FIRST to do this. Motivation is the easy part.  The hard part is working when you don't feel particularly motivated on a cold morning before sunrise. That is where success is built. Once you are in the ballpark of getting TO and THROUGH scores, go see a recruiter and get the process started IF you want to be taken seriously as a good candidate in any spec ops community. 

One more thing...

If you're one of those recruits, candidates, and students seeking to serve in any of the tactical professions whose #1 desire is to turbocharge this process, take a minute to Assess Yourself and Don't Set a Timeline - Set a Performance Starting Line of where you need to be compared to where you are now in relation to the standards. at the following three articles:

Getting TO and THROUGH the training so you understand this journey requires two phases of training.

Assess Yourself and see how you match up with recent spec ops level candidates who succeeded their operational goals. 

Set a Performance Starting Line - Not an Arbitrary Timeline that may leave you under prepared for your journey. 

This makes it easy for you to crush the PT Test and get through basic training, boot camp, police / fire academies, or selection without even thinking about quitting.

Who Is The Coach, Trainer, Author Stew Smith?

 I'm the former Navy SEAL that special ops candidates go to for books, ebooks and online coaching to prepare themselves to get to and through intense tactical assessment and selection programs and qualify for service in their chosen tactical profession.  See More at

What Programs Are Right For YOU?

It depends on your scores compared to other successful students.  See the Assessment Tool to Make it To and Through Selection and se where you stack up with all the elements of fitness - not just a PST score. 


It depends:  The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness is a classic and focuses on high rep calisthenics and running and swimming base.  You will build up your running over 12-18 weeks to 20 miles but very fast paced focus on both the 1.5 mile run for the PST and the 4 mile timed run for weekly run test at BUDS. If you are an athlete with a strong power / strength background in lifting and not running or swimming, Navy SEAL Fitness is ideal for you. IF you need some place to start Navy SEAL Fitness is ideal for you as well because a calisthenics base / running / swimming progression is a good place to build a foundation.  Though you will likely need to spend some time in the Navy SEAL Weight Training Book OR if Navy SEAL FItness is too challenging, go with Navy SEAL SWCC, EOD, Diver, PST Phase 1 Workout.  Phase 1 is a good starting point if Navy SEAL Fitness program is too tough. 

Navy SEAL / SWCC, EOD, Diver Program Series - Phase 1 is what I call a beginner guide, but it is still challenging.  It is geared toward those who are scoring minimally or failing their Navy PST test - 500yd swim, pushups, situps, pullups, 1.5 mile run.  It is easier than The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness and a good prep course before attempting it. 

Phase 2 and 3 of the Navy SEAL / SWCC, EOD, Diver program is about the same level of intensity as Navy SEAL Fitness and is also a good follow-up plan after Phase 1

Phase 4 ot the Navy SEAL Key to Mental Toughness is by far my toughest workout ever created.  It resembles a day of BUDS, complete with "wet and sandy", runs after eating, high rep punishment push-ups, 4 mile timed runs, 2 mile swims with fins, log PT simulation, and even a HellWeek Simulator with 3 workouts a day.  

Special Ops – Most of my programs tend to focus on getting TO and THROUGH a specific tactical training program. So you may see a mix of all the seasons in some of these books, but if you are training long term, you can take advantage of Seasonal Periodization and save yourself some of the over-use, long term pains that tend to follow many of the tactical preparations - especially on the spec ops level of training. 

Start training today with workouts that focus on the specifics of getting to and through tactical profession training from firefighter, police, swat, military to special ops. We have programs to help you get TO and THROUGH training.


Tactical Fitness Series - Tactical Fitness, Tactical Strength, and Tactical Mobility is an ALL encompassing program that focuses on lifting, calisthenics, run, ruck, swim, speed, agility, and flexibility / mobility. Many people focusing on USMC (OCS, RECON, MarSOC) Army Ranger / SF, Air Force Special Warfare, SWAT / Federal Law Enforcement, and Navy Special Warfare have done very well focusing on the Tactical Fitness Series and developing themselves into an all-round Tactical Athlete

The Warrior Workout Series - If you are solid with making your own workouts, but need some ideas.  This three part series has 300 workouts (100 / book) to pick from focusing on all the elements of fitness and training programs. Each book is organized with periodization cycles in mind along with calisthenics only, weights / calisthenics mix, cardio options and more. Warrior Workout 1   -  Warrior Workout 2  -   Warrior Workout 3. 


More Options:   Seasonal Tactical Fitness Programs 

Especially These That Are Used For Local Spec Ops Candidates Last Year


 OR Do You Want my REAL TIME Seasonal Periodization Training - Delivered Weekly?

Get Weekly Unpublished Workouts Tested and Evaluated by local
Stew Smith Training programs. 

Stew Smith Fitness Membership – You have access to years of workouts for both beginner / intermediate and advanced / special ops levels of fitness. Each week you will receive new and unpublished workouts being tested by Navy SEAL veteran / Stew Smith CSCS and his local group of future tactical professionals in both basic training and advanced spec ops training programming. The latest videos, articles, and other programming will be part of the weekly data feed to members as well. We go through the Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization program one week at a time.

Join the Online PT CLUB:
One On One Coaching with Stew Smith

If You Need a More Personalized Approach to Fit Your Needs, Goals, Time per Day, Days per week, Facilities, Abilities, etc...Try Online Coaching

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